Frozen in time Somerset town that looks like it hasn't changed in 600 years

The quaint town of Axbridge
The quaint town of Axbridge -Credit:Martin Clark/ Geograph

The quaint UK market town of Axbridge in Somerset appears as though it's been frozen in time, seemingly unchanged for 600 years. This charming town is adorned with stunning Tudor timber-framed properties, a historic church, and narrow streets reminiscent of medieval times.

Many of the buildings predate Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage to America, but Axbridge's history extends even further back, linked to the rich mineral deposits found in the nearby Mendip Hills. The Romans mined lead from these hills, and before their arrival, prehistoric people exploited the geology to extract flint for tools and weapons.

Adding to the town's historical charm, famous comedian Frankie Howerd, known for his role in the acclaimed BBC series Up Pompeii!, was a notable local resident, reports the Express.

Read more:

Axbridge received a Royal Charter in 1202 when King John sold most of the Royal manor of Cheddar to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. During the Tudor period, the small town flourished as a centre for cloth manufacture, reflected in its early Royal charters that permitted it to hold markets and fairs, thus becoming a Royal borough.

The town even had its own mint, producing coins bearing the town's symbol, the lamb and flag, which is also the name of one of the local pubs. The River Axe was navigable up to the wharves at Axbridge, enabling global trade.

St John's Church, Axbridge
St John's Church, Axbridge -Credit:PAUL FARMER/ Goegraph

Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of Axbridge by visiting the local museum and the National Trust's King John's Hunting Lodge, a stunning timber-framed building.

For those seeking a taste of local culture, the Blackberry Carnival is held every September, and the renowned Axbridge pageant takes place once every decade, with the next one scheduled for 2030.

Despite its status as a town, Axbridge has a population of just 2,000, making it the smallest town in South West England and one of the tiniest in the UK.

Want the latest Somerset breaking news and top stories first? Click here to join our WhatsApp group. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.